Humor: A Great Way To Break The Ice, Just Don’t Add It To Your Cover Letter

Thursday, 7. June 2012

They say laughter is the best medicine, and I know when I am feeling down or a bit stressed at work, a little bit of humor can go a long way to help break the tension. Furthermore it is a great way to break the ice when interacting with people for the first time, whether they are mutual friends in your social circle, strangers on an elevator, or even new co-workers.

According to a recent workplace and hiring trends research report released by Robert Half International, one of the world’s largest specialized staffing firms, 79% of all hiring managers say that an prospective employee’s sense of humor is an important personality trait taken into consideration when deciding if the applicant will fit well into the company’s corporate culture.

While your sense of humor is taken into consideration, this is by no means an open invention to let loose with raunchy one-liners during the interview. You will still need to remain professional even while showing that you posses a sense of humor.

Remaining professional is especially important when it comes to your professionally written resume and cover letter. Many times attempts at being witty do not translate that well on paper.

Here are a few samples of attempts at humorous cover letters that failed:

#1 – Roanald

You may have already heard about Roanald and is epic cover letter that he sent to He’s the s#@t in case you didn’t know. Although the Aviary blog says his was successfully hired, don’t believe the hype, Roanald’s attempt at using a humorous cover letter to successfully land a job failed.

#2 – David

David responded to Open Source Staffing’s job listing for a contract-to-hire API engineer. Since he’s awesome and is trained in MMA he didn’t feel the need to be professional. In the end, although good for a laugh, David’s attempt at a humorous cover letter was a fail.

#3 – Name Removed To Protect The Foolish

Unfortunately, sometimes the humor is unintentional, as can be seen by one New York University applicant’s cover letter. Although the applicant may have thought of his cover letter as a serious approach to landing a coveted summer analyst position, the unintentional humor failed at getting him an interview. It did however give quite a few Wall Street brokers a good laugh.

Upgrade Your Resume By Going Back To School – Just Remember To Bring Along Your Tablet

Thursday, 26. January 2012

There are many reasons why going back to school is a good idea, to further your education, finish off an unfinished degree, make a career change, or simply to upgrade your resume.

For some of us, it may have been quite some time since we last sat down in a lecture hall taking notes with paper and pen. Just by saying, taking notes with paper and pen I’m probably dating myself, especially with the recent news coming out of Apple.

With the launch of the newest app for the iPad, iBooks 2, Apple has set out to reinvent the textbook. You remember those big, cumbersome tomes of paper that are usually outdated before the printing press even has a chance to warm up? Well they’ve now moved into the 21st century. Apple reports:

“…iBooks textbooks, an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks textbooks offer iPad users gorgeous, fullscreen textbooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more. iBooks textbooks can be kept up to date, don’t weigh down a backpack and never have to be returned. Leading education services companies including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson will deliver educational titles on the iBookstore℠ with most priced at $14.99 or less…”

Here at ResumeMag we are all for this new advancement in textbooks. Digital textbooks are the wave of the future for education, and here are the top 5 reasons why:

#1 Portable

Probably the most important aspect of the new digital textbook is portability. By loading all of your textbooks on one 7-ounce tablet, not only will you, and your children, avoid running to your locker between classes to exchange one ten-pound pile of books for another, but you’ll save potential damage to your back from lugging the heavy textbooks to and from school. As reported in the Woodinville Patch out of Woodinville, WA, ‘rucksack palsy’ is the number one preventable source of back pain. According to the article, Dr. Stefanie Haugen, a chiropractor with Fremont Spine and Wellness, says that, “Carrying a heavy backpack improperly over time can definitely result in long-term challenges to a child’s spine, including, strained muscles and joints, headaches, forward head posture and causes serious back pain, just to name a few.”

#2 Searchable

With the ability to search digital textbooks with standard computer searching parameters that we are all familiar with, you will spend less time looking for a specific reference and more time applying the knowledge that you found.

#3 Updateable

As previously mentioned, the now archaic paper textbook is typically out of date before it even comes of the press. With the new digital textbooks, updates can be made on the fly with a simple download.

#4 Affordable

Although tablets may still be a bit pricey, the costs associated with digital textbooks far outweighs the initial investment that the education system may have to incur to get a ‘tablet in every hand’. With Apple’s iBookstore℠ pricing textbooks at $14.99 or less, soon the days of the $100 textbooks that are only current for one semester. will be a thing of the past.

#5 Environmental

A digital textbook can now be created 100% virtually, without the need for paper, ink, or a printing press. Not only are digital textbooks environmental in the way that tress will not have to be cut down to produce them, but older textbooks will not have to end up in our landfills, as a digital textbook is updateable, and does not create any physical waste.

Summer Round-Up & Inquiry Letters

Wednesday, 7. September 2011

Students have just finished the last shifts of their summer jobs, while their teachers are, more than likely, begrudgingly ending their summer vacations. Here at ResumeMag we are doing a round-up of all our top summer posts.

In previous posts we’ve supplied you with tips on how to handle an interview, from a list of 79 sample job interview questions to advice on how to answer the 10 most popular ‘about you’, job specific and even situational type interview questions.

We’ve discussed the importance of including volunteer experience on your resume and obtaining references and recommendation letters.

We’ve provided you with some key tips on how to perform a successful job search, as well as explaining the significance that networking will play on your ability to get an interview.

Today’s post will go one step further, where we will not only teach you the importance of writing an inquiry letter, but will also provide you with some tips on how to write a letter that will give you access to the most sought after jewel of any job hunter. The unadvertised open position.

Why write an inquiry letter?

Simply put, your job searching skills can only get you so far. Not all companies advertise each and every open position they have available. This is one reason why we’ve tried to stress the importance of networking. Knowing someone in the company, even Bob from Accounting, may open some hidden doors for you.

If there is a company that you have set your sights on, but have yet to build any networks, all is not lost. This is where the inquiry letter comes in. A well-written and professional letter will help you to gleam some information about the company that may be otherwise unavailable to the general public, such as unadvertised open positions that are currently available.

Tips on writing an inquiry letter:

An unsolicited letter of inquiry, sent to a company that you have targeted as your next career move, can go a long way to getting your foot in the door. If done properly, your letter of inquiry will help you to establish a relationship with the hiring manager, which will greatly increase your success rate of being invited in for an interview.


As with all correspondence you have with any hiring manager, formal business writing should be maintained. Your inquiry letter should in no way duplicate your cover letter or your professionally written resume.

Your inquiry letter should do the following:

  • Be able to not only grab, but also retain, the reader’s attention immediately
  • Clearly specify your intentions in language that is simple and direct
  • Identify your strengths and how they match the company’s requirements
  • Accurately describe your accomplishments and how they would benefit the company
  • Close strongly with a request for a further discussion or meeting

Additional things to include in your letter

It might go without saying, but it is extremely important to sign your letter of inquiry, and in ink. You also should include as much contact information as you feel comfortable divulging, be that your mailing address, a contact number, email address, or a combination of all three. Finally including a self-addressed, stamped envelope, may increase the odds of getting a response, be it a positive one or simply to send you a PFO letter.

When it comes time to follow-up your letter of inquiry, the general rule is that you allow the hiring manager at least two-week to respond to your initial request before sending a follow-up letter, phone call or email.

1500 Engineering Jobs To Be Filled In The US

Wednesday, 8. June 2011

Eric Spiegel, President and CEO of Siemens Corporation, has said in a recent press release that his company has “more than 3,000 open positions in the U.S., half of them engineering positions. According to Spiegel, Siemens is also “launching a new recruiting effort this summer focused on attracting and developing college graduates and fast-tracking them into early leadership development programs”. At the end of a 12-week summer program, Siemens will offer full-time positions to 75 of their 170 interns, with 70% of those interns being engineers.

This is great news for the engineering world, specifically those engineers that will be entering the industry for the first time this summer. A professionally written resume, specifically a professional engineering resume, will go a long way to help you stand out from the crowd and secure one of these sought after positions.

ResumeMag is offering a chance to have a free professional written resume just for filling out a simple 10 question survey about your summer job.

So don’t delay, fill out our survey today.

Youth May Find It Hard To Find A Job This Summer

Tuesday, 31. May 2011

Yesterday the Washington Post ran an article discussing the impact that a ‘Perfect Storm‘ will have on youth this summer.

It’s not a class five hurricane that are worried about, but widespread cutbacks around the country in public funding for summer-jobs programs. With nothing for the cities’ youth to do on their summer break there are concerns that there will be a rise in criminal activity.

As Lisa Salazar, the acting chief of the program-operations division for Los Angeles’ community-development department puts it, “It is a perfect storm. What happens when a whole bunch of teenagers have nothing to do all day for two or three months?”

There may not be enough funding for summer-jobs programs, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still hit the pavement looking for your own summer job. Here are some tips to help you find some gainful employment this summer:

1) Don’t rely on the newspapers and internet job boards alone. As mentioned get out there and hit the pavement. Competition for jobs will be fierce this summer, so getting in some face time by hand delivering your resume may put you ahead of the curve.

2) Speaking of resumes, make sure you update yours. You can always have a professional resume writer help you with updating your resume. Currently we are giving away our professionally written resume services for free to one lucky respondent of our survey.

3) And last but not least, make sure you practice your interview skills. We’ve posted a number of practice interview questions to help you get started.

Whether you want to be an acountant, in IT, an engineer, in sales, a nurse or even in the education field when you grow up, learning essential job skills all starts with a summer job, so don’t let the current economy let you down. Get our there and look for a summer job. We know you can do it.

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